Connecting to Curricula Standards
Benchmarks Addressed in this Module
The content and methodology in this module were
organized relative to the Benchmarks for Science Literacy from American
Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The Benchmarks
are a statement of what promotes literacy in science, mathematics, and
technology. The following passages list the relevant parts of the Benchmarks
addressed in this module.
Chapter 1 The Nature of Science
Scientific World View (pp. 5 8)
- Results of scientific investigations seldom turn out exactly the same.
(Grades 3 5).
- New information challenges prevailing theories. (Grades 6 8).
- Scientists assume the Universe is a single system in which the basic
rules are the same everywhere. (Grades 9 12).
Scientific Inquiry (pp. 9 13)
- People can learn things by making careful observations. (Grades K
- Tools (thermometers, rulers, etc.) often give more information about
things than just observing. (Grades K 2).
- Fresh observations are necessary when observations differ. (Grades
- Scientific observations take many forms such as collecting specimens,
doing experiments, and making observations. (Grades 3 5).
- Investigations are conducted for different reasons, including to explore
new phenomena, to check on previous results, to test how well a theory
predicts, and to compare different theories. (Grades 9 12).
Scientific Enterprise (pp. 14 20)
- Everybody can "do" science and invent things and ideas. (Grades
- In "doing science" it is often helpful to work with a team
and to share findings with others. (Grades K 2).
- Science is an adventure that people everywhere can take part in, as
they have for many centuries. (Grades 3 5).
- No matter who does science and mathematics or invents things, or when
or where they do it, the knowledge and technology that result can eventually
become available to everyone in the world. (Grades 6 8).
- Computers have become invaluable in science because they speed up and
extend people's ability to collect, store, compile, and analyze data, prepare
research reports, and share data and ideas with investigators all over
the world. (Grades 6 8).
- Accurate record keeping, openness, and replication are essential for
maintaining an investigator's credibility with other scientists and society.
(Grades 6 8).
- Scientists can bring information, insights, and analytical skills to
bear on matters of public concern. (Grades 9 12).
Chapter 2 The Nature of Mathematics
Patterns and Relationships (pp. 25 29)
- Mathematical ideas can be represented concretely, graphically, and
symbolically. (Grades 3 5).
Mathematics, science, and Technology (pp. 30 33)
- Mathematics is helpful in almost every kind of human endeavor from
laying bricks to prescribing medicine or drawing a face. (Grades 6 8).
Chapter 3 The Nature of Technology
Technology and Science (pp. 43 47) . This part applies only if data
collection and analysis was performed by computers, calculators, or other
- Tools are used to do things better or more easily and to do some things
that could not otherwise be done at all. (Grades K 2).
- Technology enables scientists and others to observe things that are
too small, too far away, moving too rapidly, or not moving at all. (Grades
- Measuring instruments can be used to gather accurate information for
making scientific comparisons of objects and events and for designing and
constructing things that work properly. (Grades 3 5).
- Technology is essential to science for such purposes as access to outer
space and other remote locations, data collection, etc. (Grades 6 8).
Issues in Technology (pp. 53 57)
- Technology has always been part of life on Earth--it is an intrinsic
part of human culture. (Grades 3 5).
- Technology cannot always provide successful solutions for problems
or fulfill every human need. (Grades 6 8).
Chapter 4 The Physical Setting
The Earth (pp. 66 70)
- Some events in Nature have a repeating pattern. (Grades K 2).
- Water can be a liquid or a solid and go back and forth from one form
to the other. (Grades K 2).
- When liquid water disappears, it turns into a gas (vapor) in the air
and can reappear as a liquid when cooled, or as a solid if cooled below
the freezing point of water. Clouds and fog are made of tiny droplets of
water. (Grades 3 5).
- Air is a substance that surrounds us, takes up space, and whose movement
we feel as wind. (Grades 3 5).
- The cycling of water in and out of the atmosphere plays an important
role in determining climatic patterns. Water evaporates from the surface
of the earth, rises and cools, condenses into rain or snow, and falls again
to the surface. The water falling on land collects in rivers and lakes,
soil, and porous layers of rock, and much of it flows back into the ocean.
(Grades 6 8).
Processes that Shape the Earth (pp. 71 74)
- Change is something that happens to many things. (Grades K 2).
Energy Transformations (pp. 81 86)
- The Sun warms the land, air, and water. (Grades K 2).
Motion (pp. 87 92)
- How fast things move differs greatly. (Grades 3 5).
Chapter 6 The Human Organism
Human Identity (pp. 128 130)
- People need water, food, air, waste removal, and a particular range
of temperatures in their environment, just as other animals do. (Grades
- Human beings have made tools and machines to sense and do things that
they could not otherwise sense or do at all, or as quickly, or as well.
(Grades 3 5).
Chapter 7 Human Society
Cultural Effects on Behavior (pp. 153 156)
- People can learn from others from direct experience, from the mass
communications media, and from listening to other people talk about their
work and their lives. (Grades 3 5).
- Technology, especially in transportation and communication, is increasingly
important in spreading ideas, values, and behavior patterns within a society
and among different societies. (Grades 6 8).
Group Behavior (pp. 157 160)
- When acting together, members of a group and even people in a crowd
sometimes do and say things, good or bad, that they would not do or say
on their own. (Grades 3 5).
Social Trade-offs (pp. 164 166)
- Different people may make different choices for different reasons.
(Grades K 2).
- Choices have consequences, some of which are more serious than others.
(Grades K 2).
Chapter 8 The Designed World
Communication (pp. 196 199)
- Information can be sent and received in many different ways. (Grades
- Communication involves coding and decoding information. (Grades 3
- Communication technologies make it possible to send and receive information
more and more reliably, and cheaply over long distances. (Grades 3 5).
Information Processing (pp. 200 203)
- There are different ways to store things so they can be easily found
later. (Grades K 2).
- What use can be made of a large collection of information depends upon
how it is organized. (Grades 6 8).
Chapter 9 The Mathematical World
Numbers (pp. 210 214)
- When people care about what is being counted or measured, it is important
for them to say what the units are. (Grades 3 5).
- Measurements are always likely to give slightly different numbers,
even if what is being measured stays the same. (Grades 3 5).
Shapes (pp. 222 225)
- Scale drawings show shapes and compare locations of things very different
in size. (Grades 3 5).
Uncertainty (pp. 226 230)
- Some things are more likely to happen that others. Some events can
be predicted well and some cannot. Sometimes people aren't sure what will
happen because they don't know everything that might be having an effect.
(Grades K 2).
- Often a person can find out about a group of things by studying just
a few of them. (Grades K 2).
- Some predictions can be based on what is known about the past, assuming
that conditions are pretty much the same now. (Grades 3 5).
- Even when there is plentiful data, it may not be obvious what mathematical
model to use to make predictions from them or where may be insufficient
computing power to use some models. (Grades 9 12).
Reasoning (pp. 231 234)
- People are more likely to believe your ideas if you can give good reasons
for them. (Grades K 2).
- One way to make sense of something is to think how it is like something
more familiar. (Grades 3 5).
Chapter 11 Common Themes
Models (pp. 267 270)
- A model of something is different from the real thing but can be used
to learn something about the real thing. (Grades K 2).
- One way to describe something is to say how it is like something else.
(Grades K 2).
Constancy and Change (pp. 271 275)
- Things change in some ways and stay the same in some ways. (Grades
- People can keep track of some things, seeing where they come from and
where they go. (Grades K 2).
- Things can change in different ways, such as in size, weight, color,
and movement. Some small changes can be detected by taking measurements.
(Grades K 2).
- Some changes are so slow or so fast that they are hard to see. (Grades
- Some features of things may stay the same even when other features
change. Some patterns look the same when they are shifted over, or turned,
or reflected or seen from different directions. (Grades 3 5).
- Things change in steady, repetitive, or irregular ways or sometimes
in more than one way at the same time. Often the best way to tell which
kinds of change are happening is to make a table or graph of measurements.
(Grades 3 5).
- Things that change in cycles, such as the seasons or body temperature,
can be described by their cycle length or frequency, what the highest and
lowest values are, and when they occur. (Grades 6 8).
Scale (pp. 276 279)
- Things in nature and things people make have very different sizes,
weights, ages, and speeds. (Grades K 2).
- Almost anything has limits on how big or small it can be. (Grades 3
Chapter 12 Habits of Mind
Values and Attitudes (pp. 284 287)
- Raise questions about the world around them and be willing to seek
answers to some of them by making careful observations and trying things
out. (Grades K 2).
- Keep records of their investigations and observations and not change
the records later. (Grades 3 5).
- Offer reasons for their findings and consider reasons suggested by
others. (Grades 3 5).
- Know why it is important in science to keep honest, clear, and accurate
records. (Grades 6 8).
- Know why curiosity, honesty, openness, and skepticism are so highly
regarded in science and how they are incorporated into the way science
is carried out; exhibit those traits in their own lives and value them
in others. (Grades 9 12).
Computation and Estimation (pp. 288 291)
- Judge whether measurements and computations of quantities such as length,
area, volume, weight, or time are reasonable in a familiar context by comparing
them to typical values. (Grades 3 5).
- Use computer spreadsheet, graphing, and database programs to assist
in quantitative analysis. (This part applies only if data collection and
analysis was performed by computers, calculators, or other special devises.)
(Grades 9 12).
Manipulation and Observation (pp. 292 294)
- Read analog and digital meters on instruments used to make direct measurements
of length, volume, weight, elapsed time, rates, and temperature, and choose
appropriate units for reporting various magnitudes. (Grades 6 8).
Communication Skills (pp. 295 297)
- Use numerical data in describing and comparing objects and events.
(Grades 3 5).
- Read simple tables and graphs produced by others and describe in words
what they show. (Grades 6 8).
- Locate information in reference books, back issues of newspapers and
magazines, compact disks, and computer databases. (Grades 6 8).
Critical Response Skills (pp. 298 300)
- Ask "How do you know?" in appropriate situations and attempt
reasonable answers when others ask them the same question. (Grades K
- Buttress their statements with facts found in books, articles, and
databases, and identify the sources used and expect others to do the same.
(Grades 3 5).
- Be aware that there may be more than one good way to interpret a given
set of findings. (Grades 6 8).
The above headings and descriptors were abstracted from: American Association
for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). 1993. Benchmarks for Science Literacy.
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